SWAAC Graduate Student Award of Merit

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Overview and Application Guidelines

Purpose & Eligibility

The Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC) organization was founded in 1987 and aims to promote female leadership in Canadian universities, colleges and technical institutes by supporting the development and enhancement of leadership skills. U of T is permitted to forward one nominee to the regional competition.

For 2019, five awards of $3,000.00 each will be provided to female graduate students studying in Ontario who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the university or general community while maintaining exemplary academic records. View profiles on 2018’s recipients can be found on SWAAC’s website.

Eligibility to Apply

    • Level of Study: Master’s or Doctoral
    • Required Legal Status: Domestic (Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or protected persons) or International

Due to the highly competitive nature of this competition, applicants must:

    • Be female graduate students pursuing a master’s or doctoral program at the time of application;
    • Demonstrate a grade point average of at least “A” (i.e. 85%, 3.85/4.00) in both their undergraduate and graduate program – no exceptions; and
    • Demonstrate outstanding leadership in the university or general community, including but not limited to such things as:
      • Executive positions in student organizations
      • Participation on committees (student committees and university committees)
      • Organization of special events, conferences, etc.
      • Involvement in advocacy groups
      • Involvement in volunteer organizations, within the campus setting and/or in the general community

Award Value & Duration

$3000 CAD. Award disbursements may be split across multiple terms depending on total value.

This award is non-renewable (one year only).

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their application to their graduate unit by the unit’s internal deadline. A completed application will consist of the following documents (no other supporting documentation will be accepted):

    • Biographical information (in narrative form, 1-2 pages), describing:
      • Former and current studies
      • Areas of interest (both within and outside the university), ambitions
      • Research, publications
      • Awards held
      • Community and / or volunteer work
    • A curriculum vitae – no page restrictions
    • Transcripts from all universities attended (official transcripts not required; but photocopies must be certified)
    • Three (3) letters of reference sent by the referees directly to the graduate unit (letters must be signed and clearly state the name and contact information of the referee)
      • At least one letter must attest to the applicant’s outstanding academic achievements
      • At least one letter must attest to the applicant’s outstanding leadership in the university or general community

NOTE: Documentation sent directly (by the applicant, unit or referee) to SWAAC will not be considered. Applications that are incomplete, ineligible or are submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Deadline to Apply

Not available for the 2019–2020 academic year.

Selection Process

SGS will notify all nominees of the results of the University competition in January. Decisions regarding the regional competition will be announced by SWAAC in March.

Contacts & Resources

Visit the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada website.

For more information, please contact: